Later this month, we launch End of a Century: Nineties Album Reviews in Pictures by Run Wrake. Edited by Andrew Collins, End of a Century is a rocket trip through the last decade of the Millennium via the NME album review illustrations of the late John Matthew Charrosin Wrake, who traded as Run.
End of a Century collects the visually incendiary, socially charged, satirically acute artwork of Run Wrake. Specifically, his illustrations for the album review pages of weekly music bible the NME. These regular commissions collectively describe the shifting musical, cultural, political and artistic trends of the 1990s. Together, they form an exhilarating visual guide to a musical decade remembered for its heady mix of guitar-driven grunge and Britpop acts, gangster rappers and manufactured popstars.
From U2, Blur and the Wu-Tang Clan to Nirvana, Kylie Minogue and PJ Harvey, these striking images mutate from monochrome, fanzine-style cut-out Xerox collages to more sophisticated, full-colour computer-generated fantasias. What unites them is Run’s unique wit and invention, borne out of a deep love of music and the multimedia world around him. From the perspective of the next century, they seem brighter still.
Run Wrake studied graphics at the Chelsea School of Art and animation at the Royal College of Art. His graduation film, Anyway, won the BP Expo prize, the first of many international awards over a varied animation career, including a BAFTA nomination for Rabbit. (You can watch the latter below.) An avid music fan, he provided distinctive illustrations for the reviews and features pages of the NME between 1988 and 2000. As a filmmaker working across music, video, advertising and TV, he created visuals for tours such as PopMart by U2 and the Rolling Stones’ 50 & Counting… He died in 2012.
End of a Century is released on 25th June.